“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”—1 John 1:9
Once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, God’s Holy Spirit lives in you. Through Him, God enables you to do everything He asks, making the possibilities for service limitless.
Have you been sitting on the sidelines because you have let sin and shame discourage you? Perhaps you feel as though God can’t use your broken vessel.
Don’t let your feelings overshadow the truth! God is big enough to forgive you, restore you, and use you to restore others. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Once you have confessed and turned from your sins, you are cleansed—but God does not purify you and empower you with His Spirit merely to make you feel good. God’s purification process fulfills the Scriptures and equips His children for service. The question is not, “Do I have the power?” It is, “How will I use that power?”
This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.—1 Timothy 2:3-4
The Scriptures speak clearly of existence after death—people will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. Yet many individuals consider this truth inconsistent with other facts about the Lord. While their objections are understandable, the Bible provides the answers:
How can the Lord be good if He lets some people spend eternity in hell? God is love (1 John 4:8), and He doesn’t want anyone to live without Him (1 Timothy 2:4). According to His plan, every person can turn from sin and receive the Savior, enjoying His presence both now and throughout eternity. Some, however, reject Jesus Christ and live apart from Him all their days. Unless they change that tragic decision, their separation from divine love will continue eternally.
Why would God create certain individuals, knowing they’d never turn to Him? To some, this seems unloving. Yet God so values our free will that He won’t force anyone to go to heaven against his or her will. Doing so would amount to creating robots who are unable to truly respond, love, and worship.
An endless penalty seems unfair, especially if a non-Christian never heard the gospel. As long as unbelievers are alive, the heavenly Father goes to great lengths to keep them from eternal punishment—except He won’t violate their free will. He gives enough time and evidence so that nobody has a valid excuse for rejecting the one path to salvation (Rom. 1:20).
Jesus wants you to spend eternity with Him. So do you know Him as your Lord and Savior?
“God is strong and can keep you from falling. He can bring you before his glory without any wrong in you and give you great joy”— Jude 1:24 NIV
On what basis can we make it all the way to the glory of the next life and everything it includes? Does it all depend on us? Does it all depend on our ability to do what is right and avoid doing what is wrong? Not according to our verse for today.
According to our verse, it all depends on God. It all depends on God’s strength. We will make it through to the end because God is strong. He is the awesome and almighty Lord of heaven and earth who controls the destiny of all things and He can make sure that we stand firm to the end. He can make sure that we receive the three things promised in our verse.
First, He can keep us from falling. That is, God can keep us from falling away from faith in God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the one who predestined us to be conformed to the image of His son and He can keep us from falling away from the son (Romans 8:29). Even though we may still sin, we will not abandon the faith. Although we may stumble, we will not fall, for the Lord upholds us with His hand (Psalm 37:24).
Second, God can bring us before His glory without any wrong in us. That is, God’s glory will be revealed on Judgement Day and He can make sure that at that time we are “blameless and holy” (I Thessalonians 3:13) and “without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:22). Our righteousness before Him will not be due to anything we have done, but because He has sustained our faith in Jesus Christ.
Finally, He can give us great joy. On Judgement Day we will have great joy because we will be found acceptable in the sight of God. As a result, we will inherit all the blessings of the next life. We will have great joy knowing that we have been rescued from sin, sorrow, and an eternity in hell.
If you have stumbled, don’t forget that God is strong. He will keep you from falling all the way down.
After reading James chapter 1 in the bible I am struck by the idea of our need for faith. It is something we must have and direct toward God, the Father.
James 1:2-3 says we should consider it all joy when we are faced with various trials in life. These trials will test our faith with the idea that our faith will in turn produce endurance.
Sometime trials are not brief in duration but instead can last for a long time. God wants us to know He is there with us and will be with us during those trials and testings giving us the endurance we need.
Another key component in facing our trials is having wisdom from God. He gives us wisdom liberally if we ask Him for it. I believe He wants us to ask Him so we can be successful in facing our trials and making decisions.
I pray Father that this day you will give me your wisdom to face the day and make the right choices with faith through your Holy Spirit. Bless me with your Holy Spirit, O’ Lord. May I be sensitive to His leading.
I praise you Father for these and all other blessings you give me. In Christ’s name…..Amen.
Worship adjusts us. It lowers the chin of the haughty and straightens the back of the burdened. It bows the knees, singing to him our praise. It opens our hearts, offering to him our uniqueness. Worship properly positions the worshiper. And oh, how we need it! We walk through life so bent out of shape. Cure any flare up of commonness by setting your eyes on our uncommon King. Worship lifts our eyes and sets them “on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power” (Colossians 3:1).
We worship God because we need to. But our need runs a distant second to the thoroughbred reason for worship—God deserves it. God would die for your sin before he’d let you die in your sin. What do you do with such a Savior? You lift up your gift in worship!
In a race, how you begin is not as important as how you finish. And this same principle is also true to a large degree in the spiritual realm. That’s why the writer of Hebrews reminds us to “lay aside every encumbrance” that hinders us in the race set before us. A believer’s lifetime is not a sprint but a marathon walk with Christ, and our goal should be the same as Paul’s—to fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith.
It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuits and pleasures of this life and forget that we have a higher goal. Once we cross the finish line and see Christ face-to-face, everything else will fade in comparison. So let’s run with endurance the race set before us.